VMware IT Academy to change


VMware has informed academies worldwide that they will no longer be able to offer classes through Continuing Education programs as of July 31, 2018.  Additionally, VMware is not going to allow academies to teach the official Install, Configure and Manage and/or Optimize and Scale classes as of July 31, 2018. This includes the cheap option to get your VCP mandatory training via Stanly Community College (SCC), as written down before.

A new VCA level course that will fulfill the class requirement for VCP certification will be available via an option in our curriculum program.  More details will be available later this year. But already known is that prices will go up fast. For SCC this means  $918.25 for out of state students, whilst the current pricing is around $185.

SCC is committed to providing students with affordable, accessible and excellent IT training.  We regret that the changes VMware is making to the program increase student costs and limit course availability.  If you use VMware products in your environment and are not happy with the changes VMware has made to the VMware IT Academy program, we suggest you inform your Dell/EMC/VMware representatives of your dissatisfaction with the changes.

SCC will offer two more courses, one starting in March and the other in May. Add yourself to the waiting list on this website if you were planning the (VMware approved) VCP training via Stanly.

New VMware home lab


I’ve updated my VMware home lab. Until now, I’ve used 2 Mac Minis with 16 Gbyte memory each and an Intel i5 as processor. The Mini’s had local SSD storage and a Synology NAS (DS1815+) for shared storage. Some disadvantages were the lack of multiple NICs and the limited memory per host. The new lab is build on top of these parts:

  • Intel NUC 7 with Kaby Lake i5 processor
  • 32 Gbyte (2×16) DDR4 SODIMM Memory
  • 240 Gbyte Samsung 960 M2 SSD, NVMe ready
  • 1 Tbyte Seagate hard-drive, 2,5″, 7200 RPM
  • DeLOCK USB 3.0 gigalan Adapter (asix chipset)

The lab requirements were:

  • VMware vSAN and NSX ready
  • Also usable for Hyper-V, RHEV, etc.
  • Multiple Gigabit NICs
  • Low power consumption (!)
  • Total price below €800 ($1000) per node

I was in doubt between the faster i7 or this i5 NUC, but since one of the requirements was that a node should cost less than $1000 the i7 was out of reach. This 3-node setup is still about €2.500 ($3000) in total. For the same reason (pricing), the new HP Microserver Gen.10 was no option, tough you get more cores, NIC’s, M2 slots, disk-slots and PCIe expansion slots for your money.

To use the 2 extra NIC’s with ESXi custom drivers are needed. But since the on-board NIC and storage-controller are not on VMware’s HCL, I needed to create a custom image anyway. The issue about the NIC drivers is written down here, here and here.

Licensing is done via de VMUG Advantage licensing program. Enough to do for the next weekend…


Windows 10 on late 2009 iMac


When installed Windows 10 via Bootcamp on my late 2009 model iMac, I wasn’t able to install the Bootcamp drivers. Apple had hard-coded some versions and they rather sell you new hardware than supporting the older hardware. Since my late 2009 iMac is upgraded with memory and SSD, the 27″ monster is still fast enough for day-time use. But when installing Bootcamp drivers, this error appears:

This version of boot camp is not intended for this computer model

The fix is simple. After downloading the Bootcamp (v5.1) drivers via OSX, boot to Windows. Start an elevated command box and navigate to the path of your drivers. Copy the files from the USB disk over to your harddisk. In my case the path was: Downloads\bootcamp5.1.5769\BootCamp\Drivers\Apple.

Manually run: “msiexec /i bootcamp.msi” from there. The new Bootcamp drivers will be installed and yes, you Magic Mouse scroll-funtion will work again.

Red Hat renames certificates


Effective since december 1, 2017, Red Hat will rename all Certificate of Expertise certifications to Red Hat Certified Specialist. Some titles will be renamed to. For instance: Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Platform-as-a-Service will be Red Hat Certified Specialist in OpenShift Administration and ed Hat Certificate of Expertise in Hybrid Cloud Storage will become Red Hat Certified Specialist in Gluster Storage Administration. Red Hat announce it will come with a seperate certification for CEPH soon.

More information can be read on the Red Hat website.

Native SSH in Windows 10


With the latest updates installed on the 2nd Tuesday of December, Microsoft silently brings SSH support to Windows. You can install both ssh client and ssh server as optional feature. Does this mean farewell to PuTTY? No, it probably does not since, as a professional, you’re using ssh-keys instead of passwords. Microsoft only supports ed25519 keys. Not the default RSA ones. But since native ssh on Windows is still beta, let’s see what 2018 brings us.

Cheapest way to VMware VCP


The cheapest route to become a VMware Certified Professional (VCP) would be to attend a mandatory 5-day classroom training with a VMware Authorized Training Center. Classroom trainings will cost you about 3000 euro/dollar and if none is close by, travel and hotel expenses. Some VATC’s offer online classrooms but you still pay the same amount of money to attend a training to hear stuff from a professional trainer (read; an ex sysadmin who lost contact with the real world out there for over 10 years) telling you stuff you already knew. It’s not worth the 3000. And, as a freelance professional, it would be even more since you’d rather bill the customer let’s say 40 hours * 75 euro is another 3000 euro’s. Yes. Classroom trainings are expensive.

There is a cheaper alternative: follow a self-paced, online class at Stanly Community College. This does meet VMware’s requirements and will cost you only $185. Courses are made to attend after working hours and spread out in 6 weeks. And, as a bonus, you’ll get a discounted exam price paying only $70 for the Pearson VUE exam. One catch: there is a waiting list. So you have to wait some weeks / months till there is a free spot. But this is the ideal route to become a VMware Certified Professional for people who are paying for the training and certification themselves. Have a look here for information and reserve your spot on the waiting list over here.

Install VMware VAAI support for Synology


In my home lab I’m using Mac Mini’s as ESXi-server and a Synology NAS for storage (besides the SSD’s in de Mac Mini’s itself). The more expensive Synology models support VAAI for VMware. VAAI stands for vStorage APIs for Array Integration and with this support you can offload particular tasks from ESXi to the storage.

To install VMware VAAI support for Synology:

  1. Download the required package
  2. Enable SSH support on the ESXi node
  3. Put the ESXi node into maintenance mode
  4. (Win)SCP transfer the vib to the ESXi hosts /tmp
  5. SSH to the ESXi node, and type in the command:

    esxcli software vib install -v /tmp/esx-nfsplugin.vib –no-sig-check

  6. Reboot the ESXi host

Congratulations. Your ESXi node now has VAAI support.

New Microsoft Linux exam


Microsoft announced a new Linux exam related to Azure, which will be available in March 2018. The exam is given number 70-539 and titled Managing Linux workloads on Azure. The content is yet unknown. This exam can be used to upgrade your MCSA on Linux to MCSE Cloud Platform and Infrastructure. As Azure continues to gain mind and market share, related certifications are becoming increasingly valuable for IT pros.

Cron.weekly issue #100


I have to admit that I’m not the guy who subscribed to newsletters. There are actually a few subscriptions and one of them if the cron.weekly newsletter. It features new Open Source projects, guides & tutorials, news and handy little CLI one-liners. cron.weekly is here for both junior as well as seasoned Linux users. The focus of the newsletter is on technical content. This Sunday, issue #100 was received in my mailbox. I’d like to thank Matthias for all his efforts.

Have a look yourself at cronweekly.com.

Updates to CentOS7


Last week I’ve updated my private web server to CentOS7. The long awaited OpenSSL update was there to implement HTTP/2. My server is used by some friends and running DirectAdmin for administration, so they could manage their e-mail adressen without my intervention. Also noticeable is the switch from SpamAssassin to the newer and faster Rspamd filtering system written in C. PHP is switched from mod_ruid2 to php-fpm (FastCGI) which should also bring some speed improvements. And for most domains, HSTS is mandatory. Big improvements. Todo is implement IPv6 on user (site) level.

Error connecting to the Tower server


If you’re using Ansible Tower on Red Hat 7 or CentOS 7 you might see the yellow-mark on the top right page saying: “Live events: error connecting to the Tower server” or get errors when using the API (And the web-interface is one big graphical API) when adding groups, giving a ‘500’ error. This is a known issue, and you can do the following to step back python’s ssl handling package:

rpm -Uvh --oldpackage http://bo.mirror.garr.it/1/slc/centos/7.1.1503/updates/x86_64/Packages/python-2.7.5-18.el7_1.1.x86_64.rpm \
http://bo.mirror.garr.it/1/slc/centos/7.1.1503/updates/x86_64/Packages/python-devel-2.7.5-18.el7_1.1.x86_64.rpm \

# Once you do that, restart the tower services:

ansible-tower-service restart

Update ESXi to 6.5 update 1


I’m using a standalone Mac Mini with VMware vSphere (ESXi) on it. So for that reason I’m not able to use the update manager to upgrade the host. Last week I’ve upgraded version 6.5 to v6.5 update 1. See this blog for details about how to do that. The one-liner to use via SSH is:

esxcli software profile update -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml -p ESXi-6.5.0-20170702001-standard

After a reboot you should be able to run vSphere 6.5 update 1 (with an upgraded new web=interface on https://<ip>/ui).

In my case I had an error with updating. There seemed to be to less space on the USB stick I’m booting from. The error message wasn’t clear about this. After rebooting the ESX-host and trying again, it gave me this error.

 [Errno 28] No space left on device
       vibs = VMware_locker_tools-light_6.5.0-0.23.5969300
 Please refer to the log file for more details.

The solution was to change the default swap location via the web-interface (Host > Manage > System > Swap from ‘Datastore: none’ to ‘Datastore: LocalSSD’ (LocalSSD is just my name. It can differ in your set-up.

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